Re: document review process

Subject: Re: document review process
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 11:55:02 PDT

Huntley Eshenroder writes:

>I work for a small software company where I am the only writer/editor, but
>not the only document producer (and one of the few native English speakers).
>We need to implement a document review process for manuals, data sheets,
>etc. Short of hiring another person (permanent or freelance), does anyone
>have any suggestions or ideas for doing this?

No, no, no! You need to implement an EDITORIAL function. The EDITOR will
choose to use a review process. You need to set up the editor as the
ultimate authority over style, language, and structure, with the goal
of quality, corporate image, and shielding the company from lawsuits.

Dig up the CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE (from the University of Chicago Press)
and use its section about how wonderful and important editors are as
ammunition.

The main point of this is that the concept of standards and control must
be agreed upon for any real progress to be made. Either everyone publishes
whatever they like, and there are no standards, or there is someone who
understands and enforces the standards. There is no middle ground.

Ideally, you should personally be anointed as The Editorial One, and then
you can make recommendations as to what additional steps need to be taken.
Don't ask for a corner office right away, but you'll want to gain control
of the printing and contracting budgets as quickly as possible, or some
yo-yo will raid them without telling you, and you'll be up the creek.

-- Robert
--
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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